Digital Tradition Mirror

Bonnet of Blue

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Bonnet of Blue

It was down in Woolwich, a town in Yorkshire.
I lived at my ease and was free from all care.
I lived in great splendour, had sweethearts ane or twa
Till stuck wi' the lad in his bonnet o' blue.

His cheeks were like roses, his eyes were like sloes
He's handsome and proper where'er that he goes
Likewise he's good-natured and comely to view.
Right well he becomes his fine bonnet o' blue.

'Twas a regiment of soldiers, as now you shall know.
From Scotland to Queenstown abroad for to go.
But there's one amongst them I wish I'd ne'er knew.
He's a fine Scottish lad wi' his bonnet o' blue.

"Twas early next morning I rose out of bed
I called on Sally, she's my dressing maid
"Come dress me as quick as your twa hands can do
And I'll go and see the lad wi' his bonnet o' blue'

So quickly she dressed me, so quickly I came
To mingle with them and to hear my love's name
Charlie Stewart that they called him, I felt it twas true
A prince o' that name wore a bonnet o' blue

When I came to the regiment, it was on parade.
I stood with great pleasure to hear what was said;
Charlie Stewart that they ca'd him I felt it was true.
He's a fine Scottish lad wi' his bonnet o' blue.

My love he marched by wi' his gun in his hand.
I strove to speak to him, but he would nae stand.
l strove to speak to him, but away quick he flew.
Away wi' my hairt an' that bonnet o' blue.

I said, "Wait a wee, laddie, an' I'll buy your discharge
Free you frae the regiment and set you at large
If you will be promised to be constant and true
An' ne'er put a stain on your bonnet o' blue

He says, "Ma wee lassie, you'll buy my discharge
Free me frae the regiment and set me at large
For a' your kind of offers I'm oblig-ed to you
But I'll ne'er put a stain on my bonnet o' blue

"I've a lass o' my ain in my ain countrie
And I'll never forsake her for her poverty.
To the lass that I lo'e I will always prove true.
But ne'er put a stain on my bonnet o' blue."

I'll send for a limner from London or Hull
And have my love's portrait taken out in the fu'.
And in my bed-chamber each morning I'll view
That fine Scottish lad wi' his bonnet o' blue."

Recorded by Jean Matthew on A Soldier's Life for Me
  (Folksongs of Britain, vol 8)
tune "BONTBLUE" from Songs the Whalemen Sang, Huntington

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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